In the same part of Corso Vittorio Alfieri than the chemist's, a house bears a marble sign that says :
Da questo balcone, il 13 marzo 1887, Giuseppe Garibaldi arringava con forti parole gli astigiani, predicendo prossima l'entrata in Roma
From this balcony, on March 13th 1887, Giuseppe Garibaldi harangued with strong words the citizens of Asti, foretelling the entrance in Roma.
Giuseppe Garibaldi was an Italian patriot, born in Nice in 1807, that fought for the unity of Italy against Austria, against the kingdom of the two Sicilies and against the pope, who still owned an extensive state.
Decorated house on Piazza Medici
On another side of Piazza Medici, a much smaller house has nevertheless an interesting feature. The third level is lined with narrow arches. Each arch is decorated with a different flower motif in pastel colors (enlargement on the second and third photo.
Close ups on Asti brass band playing
The band was mostly brass but there were two drum players (first photo). The band was altogether about thirty musicians but the most impressive were of course those that played the largest instruments.
The second photo shows the two that played a large brass instrument. It certainly has a name but I do not know it. If you know its name, thank you to tell me !
Formerly a private residence, Palazzo Ottolenghi (House of Eight Woods) is now a government building. Apparently it has a beautiful courtyard but it was not accessible on Saturday. As it is a civic building, visitors may have more luck viewing the courtyard on business days, or try the number above for information about organizing a visit.
Asti spumante !
In Piemont, Asti, a city of 78,000 inhabitants, 35 km south east to Turin, is the capital of the province that bears its name. It is a main grape cultivation and wine center. Actually, the name of Asti calls immediately for "Asti spumante" the sparkling Muscat sweet wine produced in the province.
Asti is also known for its "Palio", on the third Sunday of September. It is the oldest Palio in Italy, though it is not so well known than the one in Sienne. The tradition began in the 13th century. It begins in the morning by a procession of more than a thousand citizens, holding flags of each district of the city, all clad in medieval costumes that they keep and improve year after year. In the afternoon, the most interesting part is the "Palio" itself, ie a bareback horse race of heralds representing each of the 21 districts. For each of the qualification rounds, there are 7 contenders per district and 9 for the final race. The winner district will keep for one year the "palio", a velvet sheet bearing the coat of arms of the city.
The city center has an elliptic plan. It has kept a few middle ages towers but there has been much baroque style building and 19th century constructions.